Volunteer Name: Katie Kerr
Project Location: Xela, Guatemala
Program Dates: From Dec 27th 2013 – Jan 9th 2014
Volunteered at: Health clinic
1- How was the local ABV Coordinator and the support provided in-country?
It was very good! The coordinators here were always available for any questions or concerns you might have!!
2- What was the most surprising thing you experienced?
So many things! I was surprised that I was able to get so much hands-on experience at the clinic right away! And now if you really try in Spanish class, it is easy to pick up Spanish fairly quickly!
3- What was most difficult to experience?
It was hard to see some of the extreme poverty. While Xela is beautiful, it also has a huge disparity between rich and poor. Seeing people on the streets was difficult. Also going to the orphanage was extremely hard. It was very hard for me to leave.
4- Any tips for future volunteers… (clothing, travel, personal items, donations)
1. Bring warm clothes!!! Also bring donations for the clinic and orphanage. Not just work clothes, but also things to go out in.
2. Go visit tour places (the coordinators can recommend agencies) right when you arrive, so that you can start planning cool excursions.
* Go to the hot springs
* Go zip lining on a coffee farm
5.1-Other things volunteers should know:
a. Try and explore as much as possible
b. Laundry place near the market is the best!
c. Stay open and ready for each adventure!
d. Salsa dancing at La Parranda on Wednesday
6- Personal Paragraph (ABV Program Testimonial):
This trip to Guatemala has truly been one of the most amazing and eye opening experiences. The ABV staff is wonderful and guiding you through the process, and making you feel comfortable while you are here as well. I feel blessed to have met so many kind people and am very grateful to A Broader View for affording me this chance to see and work in Guatemala.
7- How would you describe your accommodation, meals, security (e: host family, on-site, shared)
My host family was wonderful! The meals were great as well as accommodation. Felt very safe here. The family truly treated me like one of their family members and welcomed me to all family gatherings and events.
8- What was your favorite memory of this trip?
There are too many!
- Summiting the volcano
- Salsa on Wednesdays
- The orphanage
- Hot springs
- Time with my host family
- The clinic
9- How was the ABV USA support prior traveling?
It was amazing! They were on top of everything and also calmed me down when I started getting nervous before I left.
10 – Are you willing to speak to other potential ABV volunteers?